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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    29 Jun '09 20:10
    I just heard that Madoff, the perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme that defrauded clients out of about $65 billion total, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud (and other related crimes) and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. What do you think about the length of this sentence?
  2. Standard member StTito
    The Mullverine
    29 Jun '09 20:13
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I just heard that Madoff, the perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme that defrauded clients out of about $65 billion total, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud (and other related crimes) and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. What do you think about the length of this sentence?
    As long as it is not a white collar crime prison, I say let him rot.
  3. 29 Jun '09 20:15
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I just heard that Madoff, the perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme that defrauded clients out of about $65 billion total, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud (and other related crimes) and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. What do you think about the length of this sentence?
    excessive
  4. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    29 Jun '09 20:34
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I just heard that Madoff, the perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme that defrauded clients out of about $65 billion total, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud (and other related crimes) and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. What do you think about the length of this sentence?
    150 years?
    The man's bloody 70.

    Surely 30 years would have been more than enough.
    Who the hell did he piss off?
  5. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    29 Jun '09 20:34
    I wonder how much leeway Judge Denny Chin had in sentencing this guy? Is there a minimum sentence that must be imposed upon conviction for fraud, etc...? The 150 years sounds excessive, even if averaged over the 11 counts he was convicted of. I realize this man caused untold financial hardship to many, many people (along with the psychological pain that goes with having your life savings wiped out in an instant), but when compared to sentences for violent crimes like murder or rape, it seems excessive. Does the American judicial system place more emphasis on punishing financial crime than violent crime?

    Also, does anyone know the implications of a 150 year sentence? Do criminals usually come up for parole after serving 1/3 of their sentence (just like on TV!), in which case this sentence makes Madoff ineligible for parole in his foreseeable lifetime? Any other non-obvious implications here? Or was the 150 years simply a message from the bench?
  6. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    29 Jun '09 20:48
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I wonder how much leeway Judge Denny Chin had in sentencing this guy? Is there a minimum sentence that must be imposed upon conviction for fraud, etc...? The 150 years sounds excessive, even if averaged over the 11 counts he was convicted of. I realize this man caused untold financial hardship to many, many people (along with the psychological pain that goes ...[text shortened]... Any other non-obvious implications here? Or was the 150 years simply a message from the bench?
    You'd have to check the sentencing guidelines in the US. The guidelines dictate what the judge hands out as a sentence. The judge can deviate from those guidelines should he/she so choose, but a deviation opens up avenues for appeals.

    What i'd like to know is if the sentencing guidelines for this kind of white collar crime are harsher than rape/molestation/owl shootings etc
  7. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    29 Jun '09 20:50
    Originally posted by uzless
    You'd have to check the sentencing guidelines in the US. The guidelines dictate what the judge hands out as a sentence. The judge can deviate from those guidelines should he/she so choose, but a deviation opens up avenues for appeals.

    What i'd like to know is if the sentencing guidelines for this kind of white collar crime are harsher than rape/molestation/owl shootings etc
    I'm surprised he wasn't shipped off to a foreign country and waterboarded or something.

    150 years sounds quite okay, compared to some of the other punishments the US has been dishing out.
  8. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    29 Jun '09 21:01
    Originally posted by uzless
    What i'd like to know is if the sentencing guidelines for this kind of white collar crime are harsher than rape/molestation/owl shootings etc
    It's an interesting question. At first glance it seems biased towards punishing white collar crime with longer sentences, while violent criminals including murderers and rapists escape with much shorter sentences. But how do we compare them directly? Is a 10-year sentence in a minimum security prison better or worse than a 3-year sentence in a maximum security prison? How do you compare the difference in the degree of wrongness or the impact between (a) knifing and killing a victim during a robbery; and (b) defrauding 1,000 people out of their entire life savings, leaving them penniless? These are the kinds of questions that the judicial system must answer (and has answered in some form, I assume), but I'm curious as to the rationale.

    Does anyone with experience in the American judicial system (preferably on the non-convicted side ) have any insight here?
  9. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    29 Jun '09 21:05
    Originally posted by StTito
    As long as it is not a white collar crime prison, I say let him rot.
    I agree, send him to Marion (Indiana) or Huntsville (Texas). This parasite deserves a lifetime of torture for all the lives he's ruined!!
  10. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    29 Jun '09 21:06
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I just heard that Madoff, the perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme that defrauded clients out of about $65 billion total, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud (and other related crimes) and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. What do you think about the length of this sentence?
    Length? The only length that is necessary is a few feet of rope around his neck.
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Jun '09 21:23
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I wonder how much leeway Judge Denny Chin had in sentencing this guy? Is there a minimum sentence that must be imposed upon conviction for fraud, etc...? The 150 years sounds excessive, even if averaged over the 11 counts he was convicted of. I realize this man caused untold financial hardship to many, many people (along with the psychological pain that goes ...[text shortened]... Any other non-obvious implications here? Or was the 150 years simply a message from the bench?
    I believe the judge had the discretion to sentence him to as few as 12 years. The federal sentencing guidelines cuts down a lot on federal judges' discretion. But this judge used all the consecutive sentences he could when he could have run some of the terms concurrently.

    In federal prison, there is no parole. You can get 15% of the time off for good behavior; but that's it. For Madoff, the difference between 50 years and 150 years is irrelevant. He's going to spend the rest of his life in prison anyway.

    Excessive? Well, when you think of the sheer magnitude of what this guy did, it's hard to really call anything excessive. He cost people 50 billion dollars. That's a "B" for Billion. Also, this wasn't a one time thing. He's been running his scam for decades.

    Why 150 and not 50? Probably something to make the judge famous and get his picture on the cover of a few newspapers.
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Jun '09 21:27
    Originally posted by uzless
    You'd have to check the sentencing guidelines in the US. The guidelines dictate what the judge hands out as a sentence. The judge can deviate from those guidelines should he/she so choose, but a deviation opens up avenues for appeals.

    What i'd like to know is if the sentencing guidelines for this kind of white collar crime are harsher than rape/molestation/owl shootings etc
    In the federal sentencing guidelines, the amount you stole is more important than the means by which you stole it.

    The federal sentencing guidelines are very comprehensive and, IMHO, brilliantly written and well thought out; although I'm sure northern Europeans would consider them too harsh.

    http://www.ussc.gov/2008guid/tabcon08_1.htm
  13. 29 Jun '09 22:21
    Originally posted by PBE6
    I just heard that Madoff, the perpetrator of a Ponzi scheme that defrauded clients out of about $65 billion total, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud (and other related crimes) and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. What do you think about the length of this sentence?
    Judges lack creativity. I wonder what kind of life style this person lived? Why not make him get a run down apartment that he has to pay some slum lord rent and make him live there alone. Also he must maintain gainfull employment in the service field. Anything over minimum wage is sent to the victims. That is it. No help from others and he will be electronically monitored. Make sure there is plenty of news coverage and updates on his condition. May discourage the next one.
  14. 29 Jun '09 22:24
    Originally posted by bill718
    I agree, send him to Marion (Indiana) or Huntsville (Texas). This parasite deserves a lifetime of torture for all the lives he's ruined!!
    Torture?! An Obamanite for torture?! Oh,he is an american so its ok! I get it now.Just dont torture terrorist! For a minute there I thought you were being a hypocrite.
  15. 30 Jun '09 00:35
    Madeoff wit jo money foos.